Frequently asked questions
What is the Energy Saver Plan?
The Energy Saver Plan is a solar power product formerly offered by SunEdison.
In early April 2016, SunEdison exited the UK market and Ecotricity purchased its portfolio of residential solar panels.
Customers with the Energy Saver Plan can generate and make their own clean energy, saving up to 15% on their energy bills. Customers are covered by a 20-year performance guarantee, with no need for an upfront investment.
Why has Ecotricity bought the SunEdison UK business?
The government’s cuts to the feed-in tariff, and its broader attack on the renewables industry, caused a general problem for companies like SunEdison and a number of companies have decided to exit the UK market.
Ecotricity decided to step in and acquire SunEdison’s portfolio of around 800 rooftops: it’s an exciting and important step and fits the plan to help more people generate their own power at home.
Can I become an Energy Saver Plan customer?
No, it’s not currently open to new customers. We’re just managing the portfolio of customers acquired from SunEdison.
What is the Forest Green Sun Company Ltd?
Forest Green Sun Company Ltd is the name of the company that Ecotricity set up to own the SunEdison assets.
Am I benefitting from the panels?
The more energy you use whilst the sun is shining, the more you will benefit from your panels. Please see our leaflet on 'Making the most of your solar panels' for more details.
What will change with my Energy Saver Plan having moved to Ecotricity?
Nothing will change with your plan, other than having to set up a new Direct Debit. We have a dedicated team (the Microtricity Team) who will deal with all matters relating to your Energy Saver Plan – they’re the team at Ecotricity who manage domestic energy generation.
Maintenance and technical questions
What maintenance do my panels need?
Solar panels have no moving parts and therefore do not need a lot of maintenance. Occasionally they will need to be checked to make sure they are still in good condition. It’s also necessary to have the system tested to make sure that the inverter and other elements are still working to optimum power. Tests will be done during periodic inspection every five to 10 years.
Do my panels need to be cleaned?
No, usually the rain is enough to clean them, unless they’ve become exceptionally dirty. We’ll know if performance drops and investigate.
Who will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of our panels?
Ecotricity owns the system and works in partnership with a maintenance company who will be responsible for all maintenance and repair for the PV System at our cost. Our monitoring system will alert us of the need to carry out any repairs.
How long will it be before an engineer attends a fault?
The service level response will depend on the type of fault but we aim to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
How do I know my panels are generating?
If your solar generation meter has a blinking red light, then your panels are generating.
How do I know if my system is exporting?
If your main electricity meter (normal import meter) has a solid LED light on, then it’s exporting.
My solar has stopped working – why?
There could be a few reasons for this.
First, check your solar generation meter. Your meter should be located near the distribution/fuse board. Your meter should have a blinking red light – if it does, then it should be generating.
Second, if the solar generation meter doesn’t have a blinking LED, check the solar breaker on your distribution/fuse board is in the ON position.
If it’s ON, please turn the rotary lockable isolator (labelled, PV System – Main ac Isolator) to the OFF position or Solar PV circuit breaker to the OFF position for 10 seconds and turn back ON position (this is to reset the system). If the system has not re-started after 5 minutes, let us know, we’ll record it and arrange for the system to be checked.
If it’s OFF, please reset to the ON position.
If it trips again, please leave it off and follow the isolation procedure, get in touch with us and we’ll arrange for the system to be checked.
How should I isolate the system?
Your manual should contain the isolation and re start procedures.
Please turn the rotary lockable isolator (labelled, PV System – Main ac Isolator). The rotary lock is usually located near the main distribution board (fuse board).
For complete electrical isolation the solar PV circuit breaker on the solar distribution board or main distribution board should also be turned to the OFF position.
Once isolated, do I need to turn the inverter off?
No, your inverter will shut down automatically.
Will my inverter use electricity at night?
Your system will shut down when the daylight drops and will wake again when enough voltage is produced by the panels. Night time power consumption is less than 2.5 Watts.
My inverter has a fault light on.
Check to see if the light is still on in daylight.
If it’s not, please turn the rotary lockable isolator (labelled, PV System – Main ac Isolator) to the OFF position or Solar PV circuit breaker to the OFF position for 10 seconds and turn back ON position (this is to reset the inverter). The inverter will take 5 minutes to come back on after a re-set.
If the inverter is still showing a fault or red light, please turn the rotary lockable isolator (labelled, PV System – Main ac Isolator) to the OFF position, let us know, we will record and arrange for the system to be checked.
How long is the term of the Energy Saver Plan (ESP) contract?
20 years and 3 months from the date you signed the ESP agreement.
What are my key obligations under the ESP contract?
We’d recommend that you read the ESP contract fully to understand the full extent of your rights and obligations, but some of the key obligations include:
- Granting Ecotricity and its representatives the right to access, install, monitor and repair a PV system on your roof for 20 years.
- Giving Ecotricity access to a high speed internet connection so it can monitoring the PV System.
- Paying for the electricity generated by the PV System on a quarterly basis.
Do I own the PV System on my roof?
No, Ecotricity owns the PV System. Under the terms of the ESP contract, you accept and acknowledge that the PV System is our property and you should not touch, move, interfere with or damage the PV System.
Do I directly receive the Government Subsidies (FiT and Export Tariff) for generating solar power?
No, Ecotricity as owner of the PV System receives the FiT and Export Tariff. However, we pass on the economic benefit of these subsidies to you via an Electricity Generation Discount shown on your invoices. This results in Your Electricity Charge. Your quarterly invoices will clearly show this breakdown.
Do I pay for the electricity I use or for the electricity generated by the system?
You pay for the electricity the PV system generates. You can consume as much or little of the generated electricity as you like and this will have no impact on your charges. We estimate that most homeowners will initially consume around 40% to 50% of what the PV System generates. Over time you can increase the energy you consume from the PV System and increase your savings.
What determines the Electricity Generation Charge I pay under the ESP?
The Electricity Generation Charge is based on a number of factors including the estimated electricity generation based on irradiation in your location, roof orientation, system size and installation cost. The Electricity Generation rate set for the first year will escalate at an annual rate of 3.5%.
What determines Your Electricity Charge?
Your Electricity Charge is calculated by taking the Electricity Generation Charge and deducting the Export Tariff (deemed to be 50% of what’s exported to the National Grid) and the FiT Discount, known as the Electricity Generation Discount.
Are Your Electricity Charges subject to any adjustments?
Yes, we make an annual adjustment on the 1st April each year, to take into account any inflation to the elements of the Electricity Generation Discount.
How am I going to be billed?
At the end of each quarter, we’ll email you a bill for that quarter setting out the amount due by Direct Debit.. This will be based on actual meter read data if this is available. You must pay your quarterly invoice by Direct Debit – this is a contractual requirement. We’ll charge interest at 4% plus Bank of England base rate if we don’t receive payment on the due date. If you haven’t set up a Direct Debit yet please contact us to do so immediately.
What if I have a question regarding my bill?
If you have queries regarding your bill don’t hesitate to call us on 01453 761 475 or send an email to email@example.com.
How are my bills adjusted?
If we’re unable to bill based on actual readings and the PV System is generating more than expected, we’ll invoice an additional amount for the additional generation. If the PV System is generating less than expected, we’ll credit your next bill with a further deduction on a £ for £ basis.Any additional invoiced amount will not exceed 10% of the charges paid in Year 1 of the ESP. Any deductions due to under generation are uncapped.
Is the Electricity Charge inclusive or exclusive of VAT?
Your Electricity Charge in Year 1 set out in your ESP is inclusive of VAT from Year 1. This is shown in a breakdown version on your bill.
What does the 90% Performance Guarantee cover?
We guarantee 90% of the estimated production of the PV System over the 20 year term of the ESP. We call this the Guaranteed Annual Output in the ESP. Your ESP contract will clearly indicate the estimated annual production of the PV System and the Guaranteed Annual Output figures for every year over the 20 year term.
We warrant that, during the first 2 years following commissioning, the PV System will generate at least the aggregate Guaranteed Annual Output for those 2 years, and for each subsequent anniversary thereafter will generate the Guaranteed Annual Output for the relevant year.
For every kWh difference between the actual annual production of the PV System and the Guaranteed Annual Output we will credit you with 3p on your next invoice.
The amount we can credit you under the Performance Guarantee is capped at an amount equal to the Gross Electricity Charges you pay under the ESP in Year 1.
Can I sell my property?
Yes, you can sell your property at any time during the term of the ESP. If you’d like to sell, there are specific actions you need to take:
- Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 01453 761 475 to notify us of your intention to sell.
- Please discuss transferring the ESP to the potential buyer of your property. This means they would take on the existing ESP contract with us instead of you and be subject to the same terms and conditions. An agreement would be signed between you, us and the potential buyer to complete this.
- Ask the potential buyer of the property if they’d like to buy the PV system. If so, we can contact them to discuss this. If you don’t notify us of your intention to sell, keep us updated and complete one of the above actions before the sale is completed you will be in breach of the ESP.
Will I need to get Ecotricity consent to sell my property?
Under the terms of the ESP, Ecotricity has the right to register a notice at the UK Land Registry on the title register for your home (a “Restriction”). This will give potential buyers notice of the PV System on the roof and your contract with Ecotricity. During the sale process for your home, Ecotricity should be consulted so that we can notify the Land Registry that we have no objection to the title register being updated with the details of the new owner of your property when you come to complete your sale.
As part of the ESP execution process we’ll ask you to confirm your express consent to us registering this Restriction. We will require your consent to be able to offer you the ESP.
Can I terminate the ESP early?
No, the ESP is a 20 year contract with no right for you to terminate early at discretion. This doesn’t affect your position under English Law and you may have certain rights to terminate should Ecotricity commit a fundamental breach of the contract.
Can Ecotricity terminate the ESP?
Ecotricity has certain rights to terminate under the ESP if you breach the terms of the ESP in one of the following ways:
- Late payment for a period exceeding 60 days.
- Failure to provide us with internet access for a period exceeding 20 days.
- We’re unable to exercise any of our rights under the ESP for a period of more than 14 consecutive days i.e. gain access, maintain the system.
- A “Force Majeure Event” continues for a period exceeding 180 days (this is any event or circumstance which is beyond the control of Ecotricity or you e.g. extreme weather, war, strikes, earthquakes).
If I default under the terms of the ESP are any penalties payable?
Yes, if you default under the ESP terms we may terminate the ESP and you are liable for:
- Any accrued and outstanding amounts under the ESP including the Your Electricity Charges.
- An amount equal to the Electricity Generation Charge we would have received in the 12 months following the date of such default.
- All Ecotricity’s costs in decommissioning and removing the PV System from your roof.
- a. If we do terminate the ESP as a result of your default, we don’t have to remove the PV System.
- b. If you are in default, Ecotricity may opt not to terminate the ESP, leave the PV System on the roof and to generate electricity for export other than to your property.
What happens at the end of the contact?
At least three months prior to the end of the contract, we’ll provide you with an offer for an extension of the plan. In case you don’t accept our offer, we’ll be entitled to remove the PV system at our cost.
What do I do if I want to make a complaint?
If you want to make a complaint, please call us during office hours on 01453 761 475 or email us at email@example.com. We’ll aim to resolve any complaints within 15 days of being notified.
Call us on 01453 761 475 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're open from 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Thursdays, and 8:30am – 4pm, Friday.
Calls may be monitored for quality and training purposes.